Soho residents are a step closer to £17million leisure centre

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By poppy_smith | Monday, September 24, 2012, 19:06

Proposals to deliver a £17 million leisure centre and a new small sports facility for Queens Park residents have gone to the next stage after being approved by Westminster City Council. 

The plan revolves around creating a major new sports and leisure centre through a consolidation of two facilities - Moberly Sports Centre and Jubilee Sports Centre.  The two existing centres are within 0.6 miles of each other and research into customer use shows many users are already willing to travel to both facilities.

Local people will also be asked to help design a new community sports centre at the Jubilee site which will cater for a variety of community activities including basketball, five-a-side football, dance classes and community meetings.

Between March and July, the council conducted a consultation exercise with local people which involved writing to residents; talking to local schools, community groups and key stakeholders; attending resident consultation meetings and hosting eight 'drop in' sessions to outline the proposals.

The £17m sports centre will be located on the existing Moberly site will be developed at no cost to the taxpayer. It will be funded by a private developer, Willmott Dixon, in exchange for building residential properties on both sites. 

Key features of the proposed new Moberly centre proposal include:

  • A 25m, six-lane swimming pool and teaching pool with moveable floor
  • An eight-court sports hall – which would be the largest council-run facility in Westminster
  • A boxing hall and multi use  hall
  • Fitness suite and exercise studios
  • A health spa

At around 6,000 sq metres, the new Moberly centre would be larger than the internal areas of the two existing centres combined.

The Council has analysed the feedback from local people and stakeholders. In direct response to this feedback, in addition to the comprehensive new sports facilities on the Moberly site, the Council has committed to working with the developer to include plans for a new community sports hall on the Jubilee site as well. This would allow users to take part in a range of sports and activities including badminton and five-a-side football and there would also be space for meetings and exercise classes.

Westminster councillor Steve Summers, deputy cabinet member for sport and the Olympics, said:

"In this Olympic year, I am delighted to put be progressing our plans for the new sports centre at Moberly to the next stage of detailed design.  It's a major new facility development offering a comprehensive mix of sports facilities and represents a significant improvement on the current offer. 

"We understand the concerns of the community regarding the loss of facilities at Jubilee and hope that the proposed new community sports hall – which has been prompted by feedback from local people - will go a long way to answer those concerns. We will continue to work with local people to ensure their views are taken on board as the proposals develop towards the planning stages.

"Few councils are in the position of being able to build multi-million new sports facilities in the current financial climate. We believe these proposals will give Westminster and Queen's Park leading sports facilities and will be an impressive post-Olympic legacy."

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